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Bryan College junior anglers Bailey Fain and Preston Kendrick are national champions. Fain and Kendrick wrapped up a victory Thursday in the BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship, totaling 35.99 pounds with their 10 counting catches in the two-day event on Pickwick Lake out of Florence, Alabama. The Lions duo led both days, and while their big bass of 5.91 pounds was not the tournament's largest fish — it ranked third behind Clemson's George Fallon and George Gore (7.52) and Adrian's Griffin Fernandes and Gunner Fernandes (6.57) — their overall haul of more than 16 pounds Thursday helped them hold off second-place Campbellsville's Bradley Dunagan and Dalton Smith, who totaled 34.63 for the tournament. "Both days we caught all of our weight first thing in the morning," Kendrick said in a tournament release. "We didn't know we had as much as we had either day." Bryan had four teams in the 184-boat field; Mason Cizek and Jake Lee were 29th with 10 fish and 26.54 pounds, Conner DiMauro and Cole Sands were 45th with 10 fish and 24.28 pounds, and Ethan Shaw and Thad Simerly were 82nd with seven fish and 18.38 pounds for the Dayton program.

 

Golf

* Ooltewah's Gibby Gilbert III made a run at a fourth Tennessee Senior State Open championship but wound up tied for second in the event held Monday and Tuesday at Stonehenge Golf Course in Fairfield Glade. Gilbert followed his opening 3-under-par 69 with a 73 to share the runner-up spot with Kingsport's Cliff Kresge, and they were four strokes behind winner Bill Breen of Nashville, who shot 66-72 to finish at 6 under. Kresge and Gilbert, the 54-year-old former Tyner and University of Tennessee standout who has competed on the PGA Tour Champions, were two shots ahead of fifth-place Buzz Fly of Memphis, the low amateur. Council Fire pro Richard Rebne from Ringgold, Georgia, shared sixth with two others at 146 after shooting 73 each day. In Super Senior competition, Chattanooga's Harry Hill earned a six-stroke win, shooting 69-75; Fairview's Frank Dial was second, shooting 75 each day. Chattanooga's Randall Yoder (81-75—156) was fifth.

 

Wrestling

* University of Tennessee at Chattanooga coach Kyle Ruschell has announced another signee for this year's recruiting class: Lincoln Heck from West Wyoming, Pennsylvania, a four-year letterwinner during a standout high school career at Wyoming Seminary. Heck, projected to compete at 149 pounds with the Mocs, helped his prep program to a national championship and its 14th straight state title this past season, according to UTC's release. His teammates included Beau Bartlett, the No. 7 overall recruit in the country and a signee for Penn State, which has won eight of the past nine NCAA Division I championships. "Lincoln is a great addition to our roster," Ruschell said in the release. "He comes from a storied program and knows what 'team' is all about. He was behind one of the best recruits in the country, so he did not get a lot of time in the spotlight, but that has not discouraged him. When you train against that level of competition, it is going to make you better."

 

Soccer

* The Gulf South Conference's all-decade teams for soccer were announced this week, and Lee's men's and women's programs both had players recognized. Standout performers for the years 2010 to 2019 were selected by league administrators, coaches and school personnel, and former Lee forward David Perez was a first-team selection on the list of men's honorees. Perez, who starred in high school for Northwest Whitfield, helped the Flames make the transition to NCAA Division II competition and the GSC in the middle of the decade, becoming the school's first NCAA All-American and repeating the honor in a career with 40 goals and 20 assists that included being named the 2015 GSC men's soccer player of the year as a junior. Jared McWhorter, the league's offensive player of the year as a junior this past fall, received honorable mention. On the women's side, Lee had two second-team selections: former forward Summer Lanter from Soddy-Daisy, the 2018 GSC female athlete of the year and an All-American as a senior, and former midfielder Kinsey Cichowitz, who as a senior in 2016 became the program's first NCAA All-American. Former defender Meagan Newman, whose All-GSC selection as a senior in 2017 was her third, received honorable mention. Also, the men's soccer coach of the decade is West Florida's Bill Elliott, the former Chattanooga Football Club head coach who now serves as the professional team's technical director.

* Chattanooga FC announced a partnership with the North Georgia Soccer Academy, which is led by founder and director Kerem Daser, the former director of soccer for Dalton State College. According to Friday's release from CFC, the "agreement will allow the sharing of knowledge between coaches, staff and players, and will give NGSA players access to additional professional level coaching. Talented players will also have an opportunity to train with the professional team while maintaining collegiate eligibility."

 

Academics

* Covenant College had 93 honorees on the USA South Athletic Conference's annual all-academic team, which recognizes student-athletes with at least a 3.30 GPA for both fall and spring semesters. It's the second straight year Covenant has had that number receive the honor, and this year 13 of them were all-academic honorees with distinction by having a 3.90 GPA or better both semesters. Covenant had 10 seniors earn all-academic recognition for the fourth straight time: Kirsten Aanensen, Nathan Hawkins, Lizzy Hightower, Mitchell Hollis, Paul Lemay, Erika Mast, Caroline Pepper, Colby Pepper, Michelann Settle and Lindsey Stephens. The women's soccer team led all Covenant programs by having 17 players recognized; the men's soccer team was second with 12 — one more than the baseball team and the softball team each had.

 

Basketball

* Jake Wright, an assistant on Cleveland State Lady Cougars coach Evelyn Thompson's staff the past two seasons, has been named the head coach of the girls' team at Scott High School in Huntsville, Tennessee. Wright helped the Lady Cougars go 17-11 overall and 12-6 in TCCAA play this past season, their most successful in Thompson's three years leading the program. Wright was a four-year starter at Oneida High School — just down the road from Huntsville — and played for two seasons at Berry College before injuries ended his career. He transferred to Bryan College to continue his studies and was a Lions assistant for three seasons before joining Thompson's staff. In a Cleveland State release, Wright said, "It's a blessing to be able to come home and be a part of a program that my mother helped build as a player." Said Thompson: "As a head coach, it is my job to get my assistants ready to take the helm of their own programs. As much as I hate to see him go, I know that he is ready for this next step in his career."

Compiled by Marty Kirkland. Contact him at mkirkland@timesfreepress.com.

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